3D Visualization for EOD Robots
NREC developed a plug-and-play camera and range finder module that assists Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Technicians during robots operation and manipulation. The 3D visualization module adds range information to the video feed that is updated in real time. The display also includes instructions for controlling the robot’s manipulator joints. The module replaces the robot’s existing end effector camera and can easily be added to currently fielded robots without major hardware and software upgrades.
Current EOD robot cameras provide a raw video image without any range information, resulting in operators having a difficult time judging the distance between a manipulator’s end effector and its target. It is also difficult for an operator to control the manipulator’s joints and move its end effector into the correct position.
The 3D visualization module gives instructions for controlling the joints on the manipulator to move the end effector to the target. This instruction lightens operator workloads, reduces time spent on task, and makes it safer for operators to control the robot’s manipulator and end effector
NREC’s 3D visualization module consists of a miniaturized video camera, laser range finder, and data processor. It requires no modifications to the operator control unit (OCU) or robot beyond replacing the end effector camera. The operator simply clicks on the desired target and the 3D visualization module finds the distance from the end effector to the target and displays it as an overlay on the video feed.
The module automatically corrects for the difference in alignment between the range finder and camera, giving the operator a highly accurate distance measurement. Operators always know exactly how far the end effector is from the target object.